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Bundesliga bounces back

The BBC is reporting as breaking news that Chancellor Angela Merkel has confirmed that the German Bundesliga season can resume this month. It will become the first major league in Europe to return to competition, with a date for resumption to be confirmed by the German Football League (DFL) on Thursday.

All matches will be played behind closed doors.

With nine games remaining, Bayern Munich are top of the table, four points above Borussia Dortmund.

The Bundesliga season is free to restart in the second half of May after the German government gave the green light on a return to action. Football in Germany has been suspended since mid-March.

The league is the first of any of Europe’s major leagues to be given clearance to resume playing, since the suspension of football Two of Germany’s neighbours, the Netherlands and France, have ended their seasons.

Matches in Germany’s top two divisions can take place later this month, without spectators. Chancellor Angela Merkel says Bundesliga players and staff will not have to quarantine for 14 days because of the clubs’ regular testing capacity.

“Testing is regular there, so the quarantine period is not set to 14 days,” she said.

Minister President of Bavaria, Markus Soder, accepts the decision to resume will be seen as controversial.

We have agreed sensibly. We know that it is very controversial,” he added.

“I know that those responsible in the clubs will do everything possible to comply with the regulations. But the players must also adhere to it.”

The Bundesliga’s General Assembly will be held in Frankfurt on Thursday to discuss the health and safety protocol to ensure the league’s safe return. They are expected to decide on the start date and match calendar in that meeting.

The majority of Bundesliga clubs have nine matches left to play in this campaign – Eintracht Frankfurt and Werder Bremen have 10 – with leaders Bayern Munich four points ahead of Borussia Dortmund in second.

The league’s potential return had been under scrutiny after Cologne reported three people at the club had tested positive for coronavirus last week and Hertha Berlin forward Salomon Kalou was suspended after ignoring social distancing measures at the club’s training ground.

Soder described the incident as an “own goal”, saying: “The video by the Hertha BSC player there was already an own goal. The players have to stick to the requirements just like other citizens!”

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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon